Reflections on Lake Restoration

  • Clive Howard-WilliamsEmail author
  • Kevin J. Collier
  • David P. Hamilton
  • John M. Quinn


Widespread public concern in the last few decades over the state of freshwater ecosystems has driven a strong commitment to their rehabilitation in many countries. In New Zealand, this commitment is being expressed at levels from individual communities through to the government. Lake ecosystems are at the forefront of public discussions and policy development. Māori are integrally involved as the indigenous people of New Zealand who have rights and interests in water as well as environmental stewardship roles. New Zealand has acquired a substantial knowledge base on restoration actions, many of which integrate across environmental, social, cultural and policy domains, and which in some cases allow for a comprehensive evaluation of their effectiveness. Principal pathways to lake restoration identified in the chapters of this volume are through:
  1. 1.

    Reduction in contaminant loads and concentrations, particularly sediments and nutrients, where these have caused a decline in lake health

  2. 2.

    Reduction of internal nutrient loads in lakes

  3. 3.

    Alteration of lake stratification patterns where these exacerbate degradation

  4. 4.

    Control of invasive plant and animal pest species

  5. 5.

    Remediation of migration barriers to enhance connectivity for native species

  6. 6.

    Biodiversity enhancement

  7. 7.

    Lake monitoring and modelling to prioritise actions

  8. 8.

    Improved community participation processes


Here we review the depth and breadth of restoration actions broadly delineated into five sections: (A) management and modelling; (B) water quality restoration; (C) biodiversity restoration; (D) monitoring and indicators; and (E) social and cultural contexts. Our reflections here include both general concepts and future directions in lake restoration, with a call for a unified national approach to this issue.


Nutrients Biosecurity Engineering Data management Modelling Social involvement 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clive Howard-Williams
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin J. Collier
    • 2
  • David P. Hamilton
    • 4
    • 5
  • John M. Quinn
    • 3
  1. 1.NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research)ChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Environmental Research InstituteThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research)HamiltonNew Zealand
  4. 4.Australian Rivers InstituteGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  5. 5.Environmental Research InstituteThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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